Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases that are broadly conserved from bacteria to humans. Because sirtuins extend the lifespan of yeast, worms and flies, much attention has been paid to their mammalian homologues. Recent studies have revealed diverse physiological functions of sirtuins that are essentially similar to those of their yeast homologue, Sir2 (silent information regulator 2). Sirtuins are implicated in the pathology of many diseases, for which sirtuin activators such as resveratrol have great promise as potential treatments. In the present review, we describe the functions of sirtuins in cell survival, inflammation, energy metabolism, cancer and differentiation, and their impact on diseases. We also discuss the organ-specific functions of sirtuins, focusing on the brain and blood vessels.

You do not currently have access to this content.